Real People by Alison Lurie
Alison Lurie is an author I’ve been meaning to read for years. I picked this one to try first from the three Lurie books Darren had on his bookshelves because it was (a) the shortest (nothing’s worse than feeling you ought to give an author more of a chance when the long book you’ve picked up begins to bore you) and (b) it’s written in the first person (which I generally find an easier and faster read). I needn’t have worried really because I enjoyed both the story and the writing and will be going back to Darren’s shelves for another Lurie to read.
It’s the kind of book where nothing much happens in the book, but something happens all the same. Written in the form of Janet Belle Smith’s diary during a few days spent at Illyria, a kind of artist’s retreat; the characters really came to life for me. I think the book dates from the late sixties but apart from a few time related references (eg characters having grown up during the depression) it didn’t seem at all dated.
More information about this book can be found on goodreads.